AKA lazy writing after neglecting my blog for 2 months while I was out and about doing other things. I’ve been eating delicious food and drinking great wines all summer and haven’t gotten round to posting about them. So here is a big ass post with loads of food photos of my favourite summer eats so far: easy meals, fancy meals, meals with friends, new rituals, old habits, the best summer fruits… read on!
Edit: So Mariyah protested that I didn’t include my first ever Guinness at the Irish pub she took me to in Stuttgart’s Schwabstrasse area, and the mega-filling albeit lamb-y Shepherd’s Pie I ate at the other Irish pub we visited near our Stuttgart office in Vaihingen. I suppose I should include Stuttgart in this post because the travel to and fro has been part of the reason I’ve been lagging in writing.
So here’s Guinness and Shepherd’s Pie! I did that whole “first chug of the Guinness so that the head/foam lies between the Guinness logo and tagline” thing, and I didn’t choke or cringe or other such reaction. Guinness really is OK; I didn’t expect it to be quite so caramel-y.
(I’m now in fear that the others in Stuttgart will protest that I didn’t include them in this blog post)
Summer BBQ goodness
What’s summer without BBQ? We don’t have outdoor space in our Berlin flat so we rely on friends to invite us round for grilling at theirs. Our good friend, Louisa, design-strategy überfrau who happens to be an accomplished cook, conveniently lives around the corner so we can head over, eat to our heart’s content, drink all the poison she puts in front of us then crawl the 150 metres home without chafing our knees too much.
One July weekend I participated in an underwater hockey camp/tournament that was hosted by the Berlin Underwater Hockey team, and afterwards we went to eat at Pignut BBQ in Arminiusmarkthalle in Moabit. Pile on the meat and carbs! Dinner of champions!
Our friend Joris came to visit us from Amsterdam for a long weekend. So on the Friday night, the three of us went to Pignut BBQ for dinner. We split several racks of ribs between us, with sides and finished off with one of their legendary milkshakes (a meal by itself tbh!).
Outdoor summer drinking
One of the best things about summer is that it stays light till pretty late. I love the outdoor living that summer brings; suddenly the sidewalks and squares come to life with all the outdoor seating, the bustling streets, people smile more, lots of skin (and beautiful ink!) on display, people are generally in better moods.
I love parking myself at Bar Milano, one of the extensions of my living room here in Mitte, sipping my drink and people-watching. Friends walk by and join us for a drink before going on their merry way.
Back to Joris: he basically arrived on Wednesday, started drinking and didn’t stop until he arrived back in Amsterdam on Sunday and met a friend for aperitivo there! Hardcore! Anyway, we met up for a Thirsty Thursday at Brewdog. The handsome-and-talented husband had a BBQ at his office but came to join us afterwards.
Mikkeller opened a few doors down so we’ve been heading there occasionally on Sundays for post-F1 beers (especially after Verstappen’s car breaks down at Lap 7, which has happened like the last 7 times). They have a great, rotating selection of craft beers; my favourites so far have been the Szechuan pils and the passionfruit one, very light and fruity.
Lots of lovely seafood
Friday oysters is becoming a ritual with me, even when I’m out of town. In my case, two trips to the Netherlands over the summer. First trip for a conference and training, and I was pleased to find familiar faces from Berlin and the UX industry at the event. On the Friday night, Ray, Nes and I ended up at The Seafood Bar for drinks and dinner.
Oyster Fridays FTW! Ahhh Fridays, when I kiss the sea on the lips, all the way from landlocked Berlin. Tsarkayas, Fine de Claires, Huître Spéciale Gillardeau, Spéciales Krystale, I eat them all.
On another trip to the Netherlands, we spent a lovely weekend in the Zeeland coast for Tante Francien’s birthday party. Being in Zeeland means mussels! So after driving around in a convertible, we stopped at Zierikzee, a picturesque, if albeit touristy, little town, to eat mussels and frites.
The best summer fruits
Summer berries reign supreme but I’ve fallen in love with peaches and plums. Most days I walk/cycle past L’Epicerie on Brunnenstrasse x Bernauerstrasse on my way to and from work. Jean-Michel, one of the proprietors, is a wonderful curator; I just tell him what flavours I’m cooking with and he always comes up with great recommendations for wine or cheese or an accompanying condiment.
One warm evening, I stumbled in and he promptly fed me peaches. Ripe fuzzy peaches that squirt juice as soon as I bite into them, leaving sticky tracks down my arms. I’ve been stocking up on peaches since, wherever I find them. The bummer is that I keep accidentally squishing them when I transport them in my bag, and I can’t really eat them at my desk while working because I end up with a ridiculous sticky mess.
Old rituals die hard
The handsome-and-talented husband and I have our Schiphol rituals down pat. As soon as we get off the plane, he messages his father, who jumps into the car to pick us up. It’s roughly a 15-minute drive. We hit the Arrivals area and split ways; he to the gift shop to get chocolate for his father and flowers for his mother, me to the HEMA counter to get 2 broodje rookworst and Chocomel.
We inhale our food and I wash mine down with sweet chocolate milk, then rush outside to meet his father at the curbside.
Summer Sunday brunch with friends of course! Common Ground opened around the corner from us a while back, so we ended up there one Sunday. They had a vegan bowl on the menu but I got dirty looks from the waiter and my friends when I tried to order the vegan bowl with sides of crispy bacon and poached eggs.
Please make summer last forever…
Not really. While I love summer, autumn brings a whole other seasonal goodness: pumpkins, chanterelles, butternut squash, black salsify, swedes, Jerusalem artichoke, lamb’s lettuce. I look forward to all that!
See you in the next post, which hopefully, won’t take 2 months.